This month we feature debut novelists in our ‘Other Genre’ category of selected new additions to the collection. As these are first novels, we are sure there will be many that will excite many readers, with their writing skill and inventive narratives, perhaps earning many followers eager for future novels. Highly recommended is The Nix by Nathan Hill.
Cooking for Picasso : a novel / Camille Aubray.
“Juan-les-Pins, the French Riviera, 1936: Ondine is a sixteen-year old girl working at her family’s cafe when she is called upon to cook for Picasso, who has secretly rented a nearby villa. Picasso is successful, powerful, and virile, yet he is also a man beset by his own demons, and he’s at a great crossroads in his personal and professional life. The spirited Ondine is just beginning to discover her own talents and appetites, and she quickly blossoms in many ways from her encounter with Picasso – each inspires the other. New York, 2016: Celine, Ondine’s American granddaughter, decides to embark on a journey to the French Riviera in a quixotic quest to do what her fragile mother Julie is no longer able to do, that is, to find out what really happened when her grandmother Ondine crossed paths with the great Picasso and possibly recover a lost family treasure.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The whale : a love story / Mark Beauregard.
“In the summer of 1850, Herman Melville finds himself hounded by creditors and afraid his writing career might be coming to an end, his last three novels have been commercial failures and the critics have turned against him. In despair, Melville takes his family for a vacation to his cousin’s farm in the Berkshires, where he meets Nathaniel Hawthorne at a picnic and his life turns upside down.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Everyone is watching / Megan Bradbury.
“This is a novel about the men and women who have defined New York. Through the lives and perspectives of four significant men from the nineteenth to the twentieth century, creators, artists and thinkers; and through other iconic works of art that capture its essence, New York itself solidifies. Complex, rich, sordid, tantalizing, it is constantly changing and evolving. Their stories have built New York, and this is the story of that city.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The dollhouse : a novel / Fiona Davis.The Dollhouse
“When she arrives at the famed Barbizon Hotel in 1952, secretarial school enrollment in hand, Darby McLaughlin is everything her modeling agency hall mates aren’t: plain, self-conscious, homesick, and utterly convinced she doesn’t belong. Yet when Darby befriends Esme, a Barbizon maid, she’s introduced to an entirely new side of New York City: seedy downtown jazz clubs, the startling sounds of bebop, and even the possibility of romance. Over half a century later, the Barbizon’s gone condo. But rumors of Darby’s involvement in a deadly skirmish with a hotel maid back in 1952 haunt the halls of the building as surely as the melancholy music that floats from the elderly woman’s rent-controlled apartment. It’s a combination too intoxicating for journalist Rose Lewin, Darby’s upstairs neighbor, to resist. Yet as Rose’s obsession deepens, the ethics of her investigation become increasingly murky, and neither woman will remain unchanged when the shocking truth is finally revealed.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Here comes the sun : a novel / Nicole Dennis-Benn.
“At an opulent resort in Montego Bay, Margot hustles to send her younger sister, Thandi, to school. Taught as a girl to trade her sexuality for survival, Margot is ruthlessly determined to shield Thandi from the same fate. When plans for a new hotel threaten their village, Margot sees not only an opportunity for her own financial independence but also perhaps a chance to admit a shocking secret: her forbidden love for another woman. As they face the impending destruction of their community, each woman, fighting to balance the burdens she shoulders with the freedom she craves, must confront long-hidden scars.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary).
Chronicle of a last summer : a novel of Egypt / Yasmine El Rashidi.
“Cairo, 1984, a blisteringly hot summer and a young girl in a sprawling family house. Her days pass quietly: listening to a mother’s phone conversations, looking at the Nile from a bedroom window, watching the three state-sanctioned TV stations with the volume off, daydreaming about other lives. Underlying this claustrophobic routine is mystery and loss. Relatives mutter darkly about the newly-appointed President Mubarak. Everyone talks with melancholy about the past. People disappear overnight. Her own father has left too, why, or to where, no one will say.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The nix / Nathan Hill.
“In Norwegian folklore, a nix is a spirit, sometimes appearing as a white horse, that steals children away. It’s 2011, and college professor Samuel Andresen-Anderson has a Nix of his own: his mother, Faye. She abandoned the family when he was a boy; now she’s re-appeared, having committed an absurd crime that electrifies the nightly news and inflames a politically divided country. To save her Samuel will uncover long buried secrets that stretch across generations and have their origin all the way back in Norway. As he does so Samuel will relearn everything he thought he knew about his mother, and himself.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The vanishing futurist / Charlotte Hobson.
“When twenty-two-year-old Gerty Freely travels to Russia to work as a governess in early 1914, she has no idea of the vast political upheavals ahead, nor how completely her fate will be shaped by them. Yet as her intimacy with the charismatic inventor, Nikita Slavkin, deepens, she’s inspired by his belief in a future free of bourgeois clutter, alight with creativity and sleek as a machine. In 1917, revolution sweeps away the Moscow Gerty knew. The middle classes, and their governesses, are fleeing the country, but she stays, throwing herself into an experiment in communal living led by Slavkin” (Adapted from Syndetics summary).
The paper house / Anna Spargo-Ryan.
“Heather and Dave have found the perfect place to raise their first child. The house has character, but it’s the garden that really makes it: red-faced impatiens, pockmarked gums, six upright pittosporums to keep the neighbors out. It’s a jungle, a hiding place, a refuge, and then, without warning, that life is over. Heartbreaking, fearless, and ablaze with a coruscating beauty all its own, The Paper House tells the story of a woman sinking into the depths of grief, and the desperate efforts of her loved ones to bring her up for air.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The lost girls / Heather Young.
“In the summer of 1935, six-year-old Emily Evans vanished from her family’s vacation home on a remote Minnesota lake. The loss devastated the family. Sixty-four years later, Emily’s sister Lucy writes the story of that harrowing summer in a notebook that she bequeaths, along with the lake house and a hefty investment portfolio, to her grandniece, Justine. For Justine, the lake house offers a chance to give her own daughters a stable home she never had, but the dilapidated house is cold in the winter, the lake silent and forbidding, and her only neighbors are two strange old men who seem to know more than they’re telling about the summer of 1935.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)